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Week 38


Comet of the Week: 21P/Giacobini-Zinner 1984e

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Special Topic: Deflection Strategies

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SEPTEMBER 13, 1959: The then-Soviet Union’s Luna 2 spacecraft impacts the lunar surface slightly to the east of the Mare Imbrium. This was the first human spacecraft to reach the moon and the first spacecraft to impact another object in the solar system.  SEPTEMBER 13, 1985: The U.S. Defense Department’s P78-1 satellite is deliberately destroyed …

Perihelion: 1985 September 5.21, q = 1.028 AU  The last comet discovered in the 19th Century was found on December 20, 1900, by the French astronomer Michel Giacobini from Nice Observatory, the fifth of twelve comets he discovered between 1896 and 1907. The comet was around 10th magnitude and was followed for two months, with …

A common and persistent theme throughout “Ice and Stone 2020,” and indeed one of the primary reasons the “small bodies” of the solar system are of such high interest in the first place, is the threat they pose to Earth – or, at least, to our civilization and way of life here on Earth – …